Clams, take 4
Yes, it's another clam entry. I really like clams, so the fact that they keep appearing in my CSF share is a good thing. Fresh and briny, a littleneck clam is a beautiful thing to behold. And a wonderful addition to the dinner table.
After picking up last week's delivery, I was tempted to make something sort of unusual, something with curry paste, lemongrass and coconut milk, a dish with a tempting title. But as I've mentioned before, I'm a simple, rustic cook at heart, so I went with a classic — linguine with clams. Chances are good you have all of the ingredients necessary for this dish — aside from the shellfish — in your pantry. Super quick (soaking the clams takes longer than actual cooking) and virtually foolproof, this is an easy dish to pull together for a weeknight supper.
The sauce is light, accented with garlic, given a touch of heat by hot red pepper flakes, and the parsley provides a bright herbaceous quality as well as color. I recommend buying a nice loaf of bread to serve with dinner. You'll need it for soaking up the extra juices.
Linguine with Clams
Serves 4 to 6
36 littleneck clams
1 pound dried linguine pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large white onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine
2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
Scrub the clams and soak in cold water for 30 minutes.
Bring a large stockpot full of water to the boil; add several pinches of kosher salt. Cook the linguine until al dente, using the package instructions as a guide. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the liquid.
Heat the olive oil in a very large saute pan (I used an 8 1/2 quart pot with a lid). Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the hot red pepper flakes, stir, and cook for another minute. Add the clams and wine. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat until the clams open, about 5 to 7 minutes. Throw out any clams that do not open. Add the cooked pasta to the clams and sauce, tossing to combine. Add the parsley, taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. If the sauce is too thick, use the reserved pasta water to bring it to the desired consistency.